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Zubdat al-tafasir (book)

Zubdat al-tafasir (book)
Author Mulla Fath Allah Kashani
Original title Script error: No such module "lang".
Language Arabic
Subject Exegesis
Genre Hadith
Published 1423/2002-2003
Publisher Bunyad Ma'arif

Zubdat al-tafāsīr (Arabic: زُبْدَةُ التّفاسیر) is an exegesis of the whole Qur'an in Arabic by Mulla Fath Allah Kashani. It is Kashani's third exegesis of the Qur'an after Manhaj al-sadiqin and Khulasa al-manhaj. The author is very concerned with literary issues and exegetical hadiths in his interpretations of Qur'anic verses.



Mulla Fath Allah was the son of Mulla Shukr Allah Kashani. He counts as a prominent Shiite scholar, jurist, researcher, theologian, and exegete in late 10th/16th century. He was a student of 'Ali b. Hasan al-Zawari. He transmits hadiths from al-Muhaqqiq al-Karaki through al-Zawari. He was a prominent scholar close to the Safavid king, Tahmasp I. He specialized in all religious disciplines, especially the exegesis of the Qur'an. He wrote many books and essays mostly in Persian. He died in 988/1580.[1]


Kashani finished writing Zubdat al-tafasir in 977/1569.[2] The book begins with a preface regarding the importance of the Qur'an, its exegesis, his purpose in writing the book, and its sources. He then elaborates, within 5 preliminaries, some issues of Qur'anic sciences and prolegomena to the exegesis of the Qur'an. The preliminaries are short, but they contain significant materials such as the Integrity of the Holy Qur'an, and the compilation of the Qur'an in the period of the Prophet Muhammad (s).[3]

Methodology of the Exegesis

The author tends to divide every Qur'anic verse under interpretation into different parts. He explains the meanings of abstruse words, and then mentions different interpretations of the verse. He is very concerned with Shiite and Sunni hadiths.[4]

He first cites hadiths from Sunni sources, and then cites hadiths from Ahl al-Bayt (a) from the main sources.[5]

Sources of the Book

In his Zubda al-tafasir, Mulla Fath Allah Kashani referred to other exegeses of the Qur'an, such as al-Kashshaf, Tafsir al-Baydawi], Majma' al-bayan, and al-Tabrisi's Jawami' al-jami'.[6] He cited hadiths in his book from Tafsir al-Qummi, Tafsir al-'Ayyashi, Tafsir al-Imam al-Hasan al-'Askari (a), al-Kafi, and books by al-Shaykh al-Saduq.[7]


The book was first published by Mu'assisa Bunyaf Ma'arid Islami Hawza 'Ilmiyya Qom, edited by Faris Hasun Karim and Mirza Mahmud Zanjani in 1423/2002.


  1. Khādim pīr, "Rawish shināsī-yi Tafsīr: Manhaj al-ṣādiqīn", p. 24.
  2. Bayyināt, "Zubdat al-tafāsīr", 178.
  3. Khurramshāhī, Dānishnāma-yi Qurʾān wa Qurʾān pazhūhī, vol. 1, p. 705.
  4. Khurramshāhī, Dānishnāma-yi Qurʾān wa Qurʾān pazhūhī, vol. 1, p. 705.
  5. Bayyināt, "Zubdat al-tafāsīr", 178.
  6. Bayyināt, "Zubdat al-tafāsīr", 178; Khurramshāhī, Dānishnāma-yi Qurʾān wa Qurʾān pazhūhī, vol. 1, p. 705.
  7. Bayyināt, "Zubdat al-tafāsīr", 178-179.


  • Bayyināt. 1373 Sh. "Zubdat al-tafāsīr". Bayyināt 3: (177-179).
  • Khādim pīr, ʿAlī. 1383 Sh. "Rawish shināsī-yi Tafsīr: Manhaj al-ṣādiqīn fī ilzām al-mukhālifīn". Ḥadīth-i Andīsha 11-12: (23-44).
  • Khurramshāhī, Bahāʾ al-Dīn. Dānishnāma-yi Qurʾān wa Qurʾān pazhūhī. Tehran: Dūstān & Nāhīd, 1377 Sh.